WASHINGTON – The FDA on Monday approved genetically engineered Frankenfish – half man, half salmon.
Geneticists have worked for the last two decades to create an advanced form of salmon, one that grows twice as fast as the conventional fish. After years of debate about the moral implications of combining human DNA with salmon DNA, appears to be safe, the FDA advisory committee told the Food and Drug Administration that Frankenfish were safe and could be served on the American dinner tables.
This is the first time the government allows such modified species to be marketed for human consumption, and it will be the first time that humans will actually be eating some human DNA.
“No, humans will not be eating human flesh, that is false,” said Professor Daniel Baron. “When the salmon is caught, the human head is cut off and the consumer will only eat the salmon part of the fish. Yes, there may be trace elements of human DNA in the salmon, but the consumer won’t notice the difference.”
Jon Ploben, chief executive of the Vermont company that created the salmon, FrankenFood, said at Monday’s hearing that his company’s fish product is safe and environmentally sustainable. The FDA officials have agreed with him, saying that the salmon, is as safe to eat as the traditional variety.
Critics say Frankenfish could cause allergies in humans and the eventual decimation of the wild salmon population. Representatives from consumer, environmental and food safety groups asked the agency to decline the company’s application to market the fish, saying it is untested and… immoral.
But the FDA has heard all these concerns over the years and is confident that Frankenfish makers will make sure the food is safe for consumers and will not harm the wild salmon population.
“Look, sooner or later all animals are going to be combined genetically with humans. We might as well start with salmon, and we might as well get used to eating good, healthy food,” said Professor Baron.
Frankensifh salmon will not only swim upstream to spawn, they will also go to cheap motels on American interstates.